Political Environment after Panama Papers’ Revelations

By Obaid ur Rehman.

Since Panama Papers’ revelations have twisted the political environment in the country, different political parties have also got an opportunity to highlight their politics and improve their games of point scoring. Politicians had ever expected that one day, their foreign investments and offshore companies would get highlighted in such a way that their political survival would become that much difficult. Panama Papers have extracted many big names in ICIJ website and created political storms in various countries of the world. We can say that Panama Papers’ revelations have given a new dimension to the world of politics across the globe and the leaders of different countries either had to resign or at least had to present detailed explanations of their offshore accounts and companies.

Talking about Pakistan where our leaders are brave enough that they can even defend the valid allegations on them, political temperature is sky high and everyone in the country is talking and debating on Panama Papers. Panama Paper’s revelations have brought almost every party into different situation, be it PML(N), PTI or PPP. Major allegations have been put on various intervals of time on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his family about their assets and their declarations. Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Imran Khan has raised this matter on different occasions and asked PM to declare all of his family’s assets too and not to hide anything, but the matter could not be taken into serious legal custody due to government’s clever moves.

ALSO READ: Panama Papers – Is Nawaz Sharif Gaining the Ground?

Right now PM Nawaz Sharif is under extreme pressure because of Panama Papers’ revelation, conflicting statements of his sons & family members and because of record of his taxes, that collectively put Nawaz Sharif and his family into serious trouble as it is getting very difficult for Nawaz Sharif to play his cards effectively and to answer the questions being asked by Joint Opposition. In spite of conflicts between opposition party members in the formation of committee for TORs, yet it won’t be easy for Nawaz Sharif to stand still and survive easily because of multiple reasons. One of these reasons is that Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali has rejected the TORs being proposed by the government declaring them as the time consuming process for detailed and clear investigation. Apart from that, Nawaz Shareef has also not answered those 7 questions properly being asked by Joint Opposition about Nawaz Sharif’s family properties, tax records and offshore companies. Although he tried to answer them on the floor of house but in reality, PM was all again explaining the facts related to past about his father’s business and all that stuff. These unstable moves are surely disturbing Prime Minister badly and its getting much difficult to survive as a Prime Minister.

Panama Papers revelations have also given a new dimension to the politics of other parties as well. Panama Papers after exposing many leaders in two episodes have even made political parties to review their policies and to carry on with their political proceedings according to ongoing consequences. Talking about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, it became difficult for PTI and Imran Khan when Aleem Khan and Jehangir Khan Tareen were found included in the list of those people having offshore companies. Later then Imran Khan also admitted of having an offshore company when he bought flat in London back in 1983. Talking on general scale, it is not that much controversial for Imran Khan and his team to get out of these allegations because Imran Khan has detailed records of how he bought the flat, sold it and brought that money back in Pakistan legally. These ground realities can keep him out of trouble during investigations, but PTI’s stance in this matter is crystal clear and its role in Joint Opposition is pretty effective too.

ALSO READ: Panama Papers – Pakistan’s Politics towards Blind Alley?

Pakistan People’s Party even after decades, asks people for votes in the name of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. Inspite of governing with ease for 5 years, yet leaders of PPP could not deliver to the nation in their tenure. Peoples Party is the one whose politics is now dependent upon political events and incidents in the country. Leaders of PPP know very well that now their politics is only alive in the backward areas of Sindh only whereas in other parts of the country, People’s Party has failed badly. This is the reason why PPP, in ongoing campaign, has led the opposition table quite efficiently in an attempt to also revive their political status and increase their vote bank too, particularly in the province of Punjab.

As far as Jamaat-e-Islami and MQM are concerned, I must say that due to their small political circle, these parties are only left for the discussions and meetings with other political parties or either to present their stance regarding to some specific scenario. This is what JI and MQM have done in Panama Papers’ matter too. Right now Jamaat-e-Islami is only active to give their feedback and make it count on political surfaces, whereas MQM’s biggest problem is its confusing decisive nature as it has been always very difficult for MQM to be on either side. This is why political parties PPP, JI and MQM are dependent upon the active social and political crisis in order to gain the attention of voters and make themselves count on political tables. This is what these parties are trying their level best to impose their impression in Panama Papers’ issue through different statements and motives so that a push and a go-ahead could be given to them for their political survival and future.

In contrary to this, PML(N) and PTI both have a notable vote bank and they have a heavy public following as well. All they need to win the battles on legal and moral grounds. Although moral values do not matter a lot specially for PML(N) and its leadership, otherwise Nawaz Sharif would have resigned so far until the results of investigations. After Panama blasts, PML(N) is on the weaker side comparatively as President of PML(N) and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has a lot to clear and if he fails to do so, then it would become extremely difficult for him to keep on sticking with the walls of Prime Minister House.

Obaid ur Rehman

The writer is Islamabad based Journalist and a Research Analyst.
He can be reached at;
www.facebook.com/obi.malik
www.twitter.com/obaidrehman1990

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *